NAIROBI: A closely guarded response from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to the Sports ministry over the doctored Act that saw Kenya almost barred from the Rio Olympics has emerged.
While ministry officials played down the changes in the Anti-Doping Act, notes seen by The Standard, however, show a significant mutilation and additions that could pave way for a clamp down on civil liberties.
The Sports ministry had said that Wada was against the representation of the Attorney General and Treasury officials as well as the deletion of two terminologies which they said were minor. However, it has emerged that the changes are significant and would have adversely affected the businesscommunity and individuals, yet this was not among Wada’s recommendations.
“An anti-doping compliance officer may with a warrant, arrest any person whom the anti-doping compliance officer suspects on reasonable grounds of having committed an offence under this Act and may search the person and detain the person for a maximum of 24 hours at the nearest police station,” reads article 30 (4) of the Anti-Doping Act 2016.
Wada last Friday declared Kenya non-compliant with the globally agreed code to fight cheating in sports and recommended that the country’s athletes be suspended from international competitions.
The fresh revelations came as President Uhuru Kenyatta dispatched a six-member high-level team to Canada on Sunday to unlock the impasse.
The President sent his top diplomat, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Amina Mohamed, alongside Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario.
The others in the delegation were Solicitor General Njee Muturi, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) Chairman James Waweru, Adak CEO Japhter Rugut and the bill’s drafter and lead consultant Prof Moni Wekesa.
In its note to the Sports ministry Wada distanced itself from the draconian Act saying: “These provisions were not part of the final version of the bill in line with the Wada code. We recommend rewording these provisions to ensure that the anti-doping procedures and sanctions are kept separate from the criminal procedure and sanctions.”
Wada President Craig Reedie said when declaring Kenya non-compliant that the changes to the Act were technical but render the whole Act inconsistent with the global code.
“We note that numerous rights and obligations of the agency were removed from the Act in comparison to the final version of the bill declared in line by Wada.
“Being the only organisation (Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya) permitted to carry out anti-doping activities in Kenya and that such authority is recognised by all national federations in Kenya, save for events of international federations and major event organisers ...why were such provisions removed?” Wada’s comments on the Act read in part.
Article 26 (k) of the Anti-Doping Act appears to seek to check the drug business, but Wada says it was never part of the approved final draft and not even a sporting issue.
The article says: “Unlawfully stocking, distributing, transporting, selling or in any manner unlawfully dealing in products containing prohibited substances....constitutes a rule violation.”
But Wada says: “These provisions were not part of the final version of the bill declared in line by Wada. Please note that this is not an anti-doping rule violation as per Article 2 of the World Anti-Doping Code.”